Meet the new owners of Waipari / Froggatt Edge

You may have heard about the sale of the “Froggatt Edge” crag last year. The new owners would like to introduce themselves and they have some important things to say, as both climbers and now landowners.

Bearded man and blonde woman either side of a Waipari sign in front of farmland
Merry and Emma, the new owners of Waipari / Froggatt Edge.

Crag visitors, please read the following carefully. ACAT looks forward to working closely with Emma and Merry in the future.

Welcome to Waipari

As those who have recently visited the crag widely known as “Froggatt’s” will have noticed, the old signage relating to Castle Rock and Froggatt Edge has been removed or covered. You may have also noticed a new sign reading “Waipari”. The new kaitiaki would like to elaborate.

The crag was initially dubbed (and came to be known as) “Froggatt’s”, as when it was first accessed for climbing the original owners of the land were the Froggatts. Just as Smith’s, Sheridan’s, and Bosch were similarly dubbed after their respective landowners. Climbers then made the affiliation between this name and Froggatt Edge, a popular crag in the U.K. The Froggatt Edge name was further cemented through guidebooks and when the previous landowner created “Castle Rock” (in hope of commercialising the climbing) and “Froggatt Edge” signage for the crag. 

The farm and crag does not belong to the Froggatts anymore. Nor is it a crag in the UK. We feel it is time for a change. A change in the relationship between climbers, landowners, kaitiaki, and the land – and respectively a change of name. The new name is not that of a landowner or person.

Waipari is so named after the local awa flowing under the cliffs. The Mangakomua stream joins the Waipari and together these form the southern boundary of the farm – a landmark feature of the crag. We believe this is more suitable and hope you embrace this new opportunity as we do.

A couple of points about access

As climbers and as the new kaitiaki of this farm and crag, we now understand why crags on private land have been closing. We fully empathise with these landowners and have recently been seeing things with a fresh perspective. Please take note!

Shit

Sort your shit out! It goes in the toilet only.

We have painted the inside of the toilet room, replaced the seat, provided wood chips (to remove the smell and help faecal matter compost), and have even been providing hand sanitiser and toilet paper. All gratis. Yet still we recently found a nicely formed human turd (with toilet paper positioned on top) above The Beer Garden area – not far beyond the “Arcturus” boulder. If a farmer's dog (or worse, small child) came back with human shit all over them, how do you think they’d react to climbers’ access?!

This occurred the same day we also found one of the cattle had fallen off a 4m cliff and wedged into a small hollow. Was it scared by a climber? Personally we’ll assume not, but another farmer might assume worse. Not a good day.

Deposit in the toilet only what’s been through your body, the toilet paper, and the wood shavings. No wet wipes! No sanitary products. No other rubbish. Nothing else. One toilet was closed due to it being full, slightly dangerous, and worse yet – having plastic bottles and rubbish in it.

In the near future with ACAT we aim to build new composting toilets – with climbers maintaining them. If you put rubbish in it, you’ll pull it back out.

Note: Latch the door closed after you leave, otherwise inquisitive livestock may get in or use the door as a scratch post and easily destroy it.

Gates

Just read and do as the signs say. And ensure they are latched correctly.

Before we had livestock on the property we made a special effort to create very bright and bold yellow signs to put on the gates with clear instructions, either “Leave Open” or “Please Close”, believing this would surely be fool-proof … however, early on we found two of the cattle loose in the wrong paddock – two paddocks away from where they should have been. How did they get there we asked ourselves? We checked the fences. Ok, they broke through an obvious hole in the first fence, yet to get into the next paddock they had to have gone through the gateway – the one with the blatant yellow sign reading “Please Close” Either someone left the gate open (perhaps for another car soon coming from the entrance gate), or they didn't ensure it was latched properly.

A couple weeks later we came across a closed gate … which had one of the bright yellow signs on it, this time reading “Leave Open”! This could be a major issue if we’re away for a few days and the stock can’t access water or feed on the other side of that gate.

Multiple times now we have found the gate between the carpark and Animal Biscuit Valley not latched properly. It doesn’t take much opportunity for livestock to escape.

Sign in

Or don’t come in.

It's simple – respect and follow the landowners’ requests. This crag does not require a text or notification prior to your arrival, however there is a rather large sign at the entrance asking you to please sign in. The other day we counted 14 cars in the car park (and many more people), yet only 8 people had signed in. It seems driverless cars are better at carpooling than climbers…

If you go to a climbing gym you have the choice to sign in, or leave. The same applies to some crags. It's your choice. Climbing areas such as Dragon Crags (Canterbury) have been closed for this very reason. It only takes a minute to sign in – don't wreck it for everyone. Or just don’t enter.

Maybe as climbers it’s time we asked ourselves the question: When landowners give access to us, what do we give back to them? What are we actually doing for the landowners or the local community? Not for ourselves (or our own interests in the immediate environment surrounding the crag) but for those who allow us access to these wonderful places and their community.

We welcome the formation of ACAT and anticipate working in close collaboration with them into the future. Furthermore we look forward to positive developments in the climbing community’s relationship with landowners, kaitiaki, and other local communities. Have a great day out at your local crag, and let's all work together to keep them open.

Thanks,
Emma & Karl